When building an AR pistol, you want short. Short enough to fit into a backpack and not be noticable, short enough to look cool but still be functional and get the job done if needed. However, in order to make something that short, you have to cut length in areas that may sacrifice certain things such as velocity.
When I was looking into building my AR pistol in 5.56 NATO, I ran into such problems. I wanted a short barrel but not too short and yet I wanted to be able to fit my build into a backpack. Doing research and looking through my gun porn library that is instagram, I came across the Law Folder. I fell in love with the concept of being able to keep a reasonable barrel length but have a folding stock to take away the inches needed to fit into a bag. Sadly, at around $230 dollars it was out of my price range, I tried to reach out for a test product. Unfortunately, I never got a response. Not being defeated I looked around more, finding Sylvan Arms. Reading and watching some other reviews found me wanting to know more, so I reached out to Sylvan Arms and surprisingly, they responded and offered to send a few things out.
The adapter installed super fast and easy, making me instantly happy. My AR pistol with a 10.5” barrel fit perfect into my Vertx Gamut Plus backpack. Being this is made out of aluminum, I was curious about the hinge. I folded and unfolded for what seemed to be hours, surprised at how fast it deployed. There was no wobble in the hinge, everything felt solid. It locked into place without issue and the release button was in a perfect place to push with my thumb and fold the stock back over. I slid a mag in my rifle, pulled the charging handle and instantly felt the pain on my fingers. I discovered the position of the hinge made it extremely difficult to charge the rifle one handed. In order to not hit the hing, I had to bring the rifle more in front and use a finger on either side of the charging handle. I installed an extended latch and that seemed to help bypass it, but if not careful, I would hit my knuckles again.
Shooting a magazine through the rifle I was pleased with how well everything functioned. No jams, double feeds, failure to ejects or any issue related to the adapter, bolt carrier group or buffer assembly. Sadly, that all came to a stop once I put my suppressor on. I first want to say, that I take partial blame for this. In my pistol I was running an H1 buffer, it ran so well before that I never thought to put a heavier buffer in. The first couple shots felt great, I got half way through the magazine and noticed a wobble in the adapter. Folding my pistol brace over, the hinge still felt tight, and everything seemed fine. It wasn’t until I extended the adapter that I noticed it wouldn’t latch. Taking everything apart, I noticed a little chip was taken out of the latch. That chip was enough to cause it to not catch and not stay extended. I immediately contacted Sylvan, explained my issue and offered to send it back so they could look at it.
A couple weeks later I was surprised by a package from Sylvan Arms, they sent me another adapter to test. Now the title of this says, Part 1. That is because my Co Host, Phil, was in the process of building an AR pistol, so I sent him the adapter to test out, get his thoughts and if he wants to send it back to me I will test it out again, this time with a much heavier buffer.
Below you will find a pros and cons list I found with the Sylvan Arms Folding Adapter:
Smooth transition from folded to extended
Creates a super compact system
Allows for more concealment options
Made out of Aluminum
Not as durable as Steel
Hinge Placement to high